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Saturday, November 01, 2003

Judicial Turmoil In The Philippines

Supreme Court Chief Justice Hilario Davide Jr. may be impeached, and Sassy is blogging it (when she is so inclined):

This is not about whether Davide is a good or evil man. This is simply about whether he used the Judiciary Development Fund to purchase luxury cars and to repair justices' vacation homes, contrary to the provisions of the law that created the Fund.

So is Dean Jorge Bocobo, and he has posted the complete Articles of Impeachment:

Since it is the first time a sitting Chief Justice has been impeached under the 1987 Constitution, and only the second after Erap's case to make it trial in the Philippine Senate, it is bound to be historic.

As Howard Bashman has noted, "In addition to blogging, Bocobo writes commentary for The Philippine Daily Inquirer."

They Were Bound To Arrive...

a variety of bibs
Yes, I own this.

upwardly mobile
He knew better.

Today's New Blawg

Bryan Gates, an attorney in North Carolina, writes I Respectfully Dissent [via Ernie Svenson]:

The great dirty secret of the corporate world is that whatever time they don't spend whining about frivolous lawsuits filed by consumersĀ is devoted to suing each other over trivial things.

Bryan has a separate page ("Ask The Law Guy") where he answers reader questions about the law, the legal system, and legal problems, and also has an apparent fondness for both Atticus Finch and pugs. (Can it be long before the B&B blawgroll needs a Practicing, With Pugs sub?)

Paper, Or Paper?

Jeremy Blachman discusses "the myth of the paperless office," and much more, in his A-to-Z Guide to Callback Interviews.

Friday, October 31, 2003


That's Hard Time

Frank Field has the skinny on this week's South Park episode (#709), in which Kyle, Stan, and Kenny get busted for illegal music downloads. As the FBI tells them, "That's hard time" (.wav).

Librarily We Roll Along

I've had a few interesting library tidbits sitting in my in-box and on my desk; putting them here, of course, gets them out, off, and in front of you :).

  • On next Thursday, November 6, the Los Angeles County Law Library is being renamed in honor of the late Justice Mildred Lillie, who served over 55 years as a California jurist and authored more than 3,000 appellate opinions. (More here.) Chief Justice Ronald M. George of the California Supreme Court will deliver the keynote.
  • Through January 4, 2004, the Los Angeles Central Library is host to American Originals, an exhibit of items from the National Archives including "25 documents, ranging from Thomas Edison's patent application for the electric light to the Louisiana Purchase Treaty and Germany's surrender in World War II. Many of these priceless treasures have never traveled outside of Washington D.C. Other milestone documents on display for the duration include [the] Official voting record of the Constitutional Convention, 1787, [the] Louisiana Purchase Treaty, 1803, [and] President Kennedy's inaugural address, 1961." More from Business Wire.
  • The November issue of the Los Angeles Lawyer includes a useful Carole Levitt article on "How to Access Public Library Databases for Research Purposes: Attorneys can use library databases to find what they might otherwise have to pay for." It's not yet up on the County Bar site, but I'll try to remember to update this once it is. [11/4 Update]: Here's the article (PDF).


Yossi Vardi, at Harvard: "In the Internet wars, the winner will be he who is able to harness the good will of the edge."

Oh Hallow Night

Today's New Blawg

Rod Dixon writes Open Source Software Law [via Ernie Svenson]:

I am a lawyer. I also teach and write about the intersection of law and technology, particularly in the context of the social, cultural, and political dimensions of computer-mediated communications. I hope you might consider using my book [link added, out in December], if you participate in the open source community.

A recent post attempts to clarify whether an open source software license is a contract. (It depends.) For more great discussion of these kinds of issues, in downloadable MP3 format no less, OSCOM (the Open Source Content Management conference last May in Cambridge) had an excellent intellectual property panel moderated by John Palfrey and featuring Aaron Swartz, Mike Olson, Larry Rosen, and Liza Vertinsky* (MP3), and the EFF's Wendy Seltzer gave a presentation on the Berkman Center's Openlaw project (MP3).

*Check out Liza's law firm's awesome Web site.

Thursday, October 30, 2003

WLF Legal Backgrounder on Intel v. Hamidi

The Washington Legal Foundation this week has published an article I wrote about the California Supreme Court's decision in Intel v. Hamidi (PDF): "California High Court Complicates Control Of Unwanted E-Mails." This case was a fun one to blog along with as it worked its way through the California courts, particularly when Ken Hamidi's lawyer Greg Lastowka dropped by after winning and confessed to being an avid Bag and Baggage lurker.

Harnessing Influence

Howard Bashman announces that his 20 Questions For The Appellate Judge interview series has had several recent exciting sign-ups, and is booked through March of next year. The February slot will feature Ninth Circuit Judge Stephen R. Reinhardt—the first, but hopefully not the last, participant from the jurists included among California's 100 most influential lawyers, as recognized by the Daily Journal.


Stacy Cowley of IDG News, today at

Without taking a position on whether SCC's chips illegally incorporate Lexmark code, the Copyright Office ruled that the DMCA does not block software developers from using reverse engineering to circumvent digital protection of copyright material if they do so to achieve interoperability with an independently created computer program.

[ ] SCC had asked the Copyright Office to recommend several DMCA exemptions that would protect its efforts to defeat Lexmark's protection technology. Those requested exemptions are unnecessary because existing DMCA statutes already allow the kind of reverse engineering that SCC could have used to thwart Lexmark's protections, the agency said in a lengthy memo of recommendations about exemptions to the DMCA.

(Emphasis added, and indicates that unlike many of her colleagues Ms. Cowley probably did read the Rulemaking and Register's Recommendation.) I have been surprised and disappointed by the sheer volume of bad reporting on that portion of the Rulemaking that touched on Static Control's rejected exemption request and the Lexmark v. Static Control dispute. Even my favorite television program got taken in, and simply parroted (and drew unsupportable conclusions from) one of the worst early stories that appeared.

Today's New Blawg

Ok, deep breath, "this-is-the-blawg-that-JackBruce-built" litany to follow.

Institutional Shareholder Services, Inc. (ISS) provides proxy voting and corporate governance services to publicly traded companies. Securities Class Action Services (SCAS) is the part of ISS that "track[s] class action suits, state and SEC settlements and file[s] claims that entitle clients to share in settlement awards." Bruce Carton is Executive Director of SCAS, a former Piper Rudnick securities litigator, and former Senior Counsel to the SEC's U.S. enforcement division.

Still with me? Bruce writes Securities Litigation Watch, a blawg full of news and resources relating to securities lawsuits—for instance, advice for traders from one who's been there about how to get the SEC's Division of Enforcement all over you like a bad suit. Very specialized and knowledgeable, good securities law resource. [Via]

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Are You Exempt? (And Has The Media Read What It's Reporting On?)

Ernest Miller has a comprehensive run-down of links related to yesterday's DMCA Rulemaking. [Via Donna Wentworth]

For those of you following the Lexmark v. Static Control case (in which I and my firm have submitted an amicus brief), the Rulemaking (PDF; p. 25) denied Static Control's proposed exemption ("The Register concludes that an existing exemption in section 1201(f) addresses the concerns of remanufacturers, making an exemption under section 1201(a)(1)(D) unnecessary"), and the Register's Recommendation (PDF; pp. 182-83) notes the dispute between the parties about whether Static Control's conduct constitutes reverse engineering, resolved in Lexmark's favor by the trial court, but does not weigh in on the outcome of that dispute. Media statements that the Rulemaking puts "a stunning end" to the case between Lexmark and Static Control, or constitutes a favorable ruling at all for Static Control—which lost its bid for an exemption—thus fail to reflect a thorough or accurate analysis of the Rulemaking and the pending Sixth Circuit appeal. (See, "Copyright Office Rules For Toner Remanufacturer," and similar takes included here.)

"Pushers Of Dopamine Over IP"

The presentation last week by Yossi Vardi and Jim Moore to the Digital Democracy class at Harvard Law School, "The Edge Against the Hub," is worth revisiting again and again. John Palfrey took good notes: "The struggle is over the openness of the technology: on the legal fronts, the struggles are over ownership of intellectual property, spectrum, VoIP; on the technical fronts, on standards, architecture, APIs, morality of free v. paid, etc." The audio is fantastic freeway company—especially if you, like me, enjoy picking out John's laughter from the audience. (Rick, definitely include this in your article research.)

Today's New Blawg

The Texas Law Blog is keeping an eye on law and politics in the Lone Star State and beyond: "The Texas Law Blog monitors the United States Supreme Court, 5th Circuit, Texas Supreme Court, Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, the various Courts of Appeals, the Texas Legislature, major Texas newspapers and legal websites."

Titan Watch

Last Friday, Jon Udell was wondering about Google's plans on the full text book search front. ("Clash of the titans: Amazon vs. Google") Yesterday, Publishers Weekly ran "The Amazoning of Google? Search Firm Looks for Book Content" [via TVC Alert]:

[ ] Amazon's desire to enhance its search tool could up the stakes for everyone. By awakening the sleeping copy in books, Amazon might finally be drawing the publishing industry into the same arena of other print media, which long gave up trying to shield itself from the Web, in turn creating a wealth of book content online—and plenty of disagreement among publishers and authors.

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

Resistance Is Futile?

C.E. Petit has a lengthy post today on Amazon's Search Inside the Book, and why it has angered him and some of his clients. Bottom line, according to C.E.: "[T]his should have been done on an opt-in basis, not an opt-out basis." (From what I can tell, C.E. is jumping the gun thinking Amazon may have pulled the service; all the searches I ran over the weekend continue to include the Search Inside results.)

Also examining Search Inside, Jon Udell describes how the service adds value for the book owner—"Now the physical book I bought from Amazon is more valuable to me. Its printed index has been augmented by a vastly more capable online index."—while recognizing it's not hard to see how the technology could foster abuse. Jon's musings about whether and how such local search services will federate are quite fascinating too.

Under The Influence

While I can't link you to the Daily Journal's sixth annual list of California's 100 most influential lawyers, I can at least congratulate several esteemed jurists,

and academics,

one favorite securities law instructor (who I understand has quite a little law practice on the side),

one prior co-counsel,

and one prior opposing counsel, in the same case,

for the well-deserved recognition they have received.

According to the DJ, this list is selected by vote of the California legal community. Oh, and Judge Kozinski knows poultry:

The judge, known for penning New Yorker magazine pieces and distinctive 9th Circuit opinions, raises six or seven chickens in his Palos Verdes Peninsula backyard. (Reportedly, he has enough land to keep the chickens happy and his neighbors on the hill from tarring and feathering him.) Kozinski's breeds include black giant, longhorn, Sebright Bantam, Sulton and two of a rarer breed called Dorkings.

I wonder if the good judge's expertise extends to turkeys? (No cracks, please, about the ones who from time to time address his Court.)

I also wonder if this is the first year the list includes a blawger (I think so), and if how much the ranks will grow by 2004? (My money's on Pam Samuelson.)

Today's New Blawg

Joshua Smith, an intellectual property associate at Wildman Harrold in Illinois with an adorable family, writes UnSecure Privacy. [Via the Blawg Ring] Joshua's blawg is not yet a month old, but already features some excellent and timely posts on computer security, RFID, "SCO v. The World," and privacy in underwear purchases. (Have I mentioned lately that I love the law?)

Listings in the Blawg Ring appear to have crossed the 300 mark over the weekend. Way to go, JCA!

Monday, October 27, 2003

Places I Might Go In November (If I Could Still Fly)

November 3-5, New York, NY: AD:TECH, which will have a bunch of interesting sessions, including John Battelle's on e-communities.

November 7, Vancouver, BC: The Pacific Legal Technology Conference, which will have a bunch of interesting sessions, but nothing at all on e-communities.

Crushing Good Times

The Rock Paper Scissors 2003 International Championships took place over the weekend in Koolhaus, Toronto: "Congratulations Rob Krueger: 2003 Molson Canadian Rock Paper Scissors Champion of the world. ... Check the major networks for coverage. [!] will offer a full breakdown of the matches shortly."

As Howard has already noted, Daily Journal staff writer Tyler Cunningham has two excellent articles on blawging in today's issue. That characterization isn't solely a function of the fact I'm quoted, nicely talked about, etc.; in fact, I bring them up here for three entirely different reasons:

Serendipity, thy name is blawging!

Pic From Today's Associates Meeting

Here we are in the meeting; I'm just wrapping up. Thanks to all who submitted feedback, it's been very helpful!

Today's New Blawg

The members of the MacLean Family Law Group in Vancouver, BC ("We can't protect your heart. But we can protect your rights.") are blogging prolifically about things like "Custody and Access, Spousal Support, Child Support, Division of Property, Common Law and Same Sex, [and] Court Process." [Via the Blawg Ring] Did you know Canada's highest court recently paved the way for the country to become the third in the world to recognize same-sex marriages?

Sunday, October 26, 2003

Keep 'Em Coming

Thanks to all who have responded in email and comments to this weekend's open thread on blawging. There's still plenty of time to chime in if you haven't yet done so (my talk is not 'til Noon PST).

Happy Birthday Dear Howard

It's after midnight on the east coast, so unless my phone is lying this means it's already Howard Bashman's birthday in his part of the world.

Sweet Justice
Many Appealing Returns!

[Update] Oops, bad phone! I'm a day early, which just gives you more time to prepare, both for Howard and for Bill Gates.

Long Strange Trip

Tauzin, not Valenti, huh? Interesting. The L.A. Times was just commenting Friday how the recent ban on screener DVDs for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences had become "a referendum on the 82-year-old Valenti's Hollywood power." ("New 'Screener' Policy Fails to Quiet Valenti's Critics")

Antitrust And The Broadcast Flag

Blogging in absentia, David Giacalone passes along some timely links:

  1. The American Antitrust Institute, "A red flag for the broadcast flag:"

    The scope of the regulations the program producers are asking for is enormous. Their proposal requires detailed rules on the manufacture and design of DTV receivers and other devices. It requires that the outputs on such devices be strictly controlled and tamper-proof. And it would make illegal the importation into the U.S. or the possession of devices that do not comply with the regulations and provide penalties for consumers who attempt to circumvent them. [...]

    The problem is that the broadcast flag proposal aims at delegating to the private companies that own the copy protection technologies the power to make and re-make the rules for how DTV signals should be handled by consumer devices. Through their rules, these companies have already decided how consumers should be permitted to handle even non-broadcast video.

  2. The joint statement of Consumers Union, Consumer Federation of America, Public Knowledge, and the American Antitrust Institute, opposing the Broadcast Flag scheme: "The attempt to try and fast-track this through an agency process, while it hasn't wholly silenced consumers, has diminished their voices in a manner that's ultimately going to affect the way that they enjoy TV and their consumer electronics devices, and even the ways they use their computers." (Those links again to speak your mind: EFF; Digital Consumer.)
  3. The American Antitrust Institute's guide to Intellectual Property and the Antitrust Laws. We have David to thank for this excellent resource, as he is the volunteer editor.

Unexpected Visitor

It's a little tough to make out, but that's a turkey perched on top of the hedge in our yard. It was just passing through; wandered by the bedroom window (gobbling the whole way), gave the premises a thorough check, then hopped next door to terrorize the neighbor's dog. Seems they're not completely unheard of in Orange County, CA, but I can assure you this was fairly mind-blowing. Wisely, it cleared out well before I could start thinking about dinner.

Fowl Visitor

Today's New Blawg

Channah, a law student in southern California, writes the hedgehogblog [via the Blawg Ring] and describes what it has looked like around here for the last few days:

But today's fire is worse. There were little snowflake sized pieces of ash falling everywhere...downtown, hollywood, the valley...everywhere.

it looks like snow.

pretty...but annoying and sad, thinking that the ash could have been someone's family photo album, or that 100 year old oak that once gave respite from the southern california sun.

Channah has lots more to say about law school, it's just tough to divert my attention from the surreal atmospheric effects we've experienced this weekend with the fires. Here's what they did to this morning's sunrise.

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